Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] searching for sudbury

From: cheryl huff <chuff57_at_earthlink.net>
Date: Thu Sep 22 21:17:00 2005

Thanks for taking the time to reply so thoughtfully and kindly, Carol. I
see the failure of standard education every day, too, at the community
colleges where I work - students are utterly crippled in terms of learning
- smart, thinking, surviving people, for this is a very poor rural area
with huge challenges - it makes me want to weep. And then I see my son
beginning to take on the trappings of the system. But tonight we tried to
do the rote homework - writing spelling words over and over on a line - and
he got up and began to form the shapes of the letters with his body,
instead. I felt so relieved that he could still think this way. But I
don't know how much longer he will - as much as he is strong and dynamic,
he is feeling the pressure to do it the 'school way'. In the South, that
means saying "yes, Ma'am" and "yes, Sir" to anyone in authority, and woe
betide a student who questions anything.

I have great faith in change. I have heard from so many people about their
willingness to walk away from the standard system and I know that whatever
I do, I will meet people who will be there to help. Thank you so much for
being one of those people. It really does make a difference in my life and
my son's.

cheryl huff
chuff57_at_earthlink.net

> [Original Message]
> From: Hughes <hughes0005_at_comcast.net>
> To: <discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org>
> Date: 9/21/2005 11:48:18 AM
> Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] searching for sudbury
>
> Hi Cheryl,
> Trying to navigate a child's education in this modern world of outdated
> educational models is extremely difficult. I just want to encourage you
to
> keep networking and reaching out to everyone you meet in this process.
Your
> child has an aware mother and that automatically puts him in a more
> advantageous place. I see the results of the standard educational model
> every day in my work as a private piano/voice teacher. Many students,
very
> bright students, ages 6-8 have gotten the message that fear and pressure
and
> someone in authority, are necessary ingredients for them to learn and be
> prepared in life. Also, that they must not listen to their own instincts
> for what is right for them. I homeschooled for four years before putting
my
> three children in SVS. One difficulty that I found in homeschooling was
> that the community was fast becoming a group of families that were doing
so
> to have better control over their children's life experience. Since I
was
> home schooling for the opposite reason... I wanted my kids to learn their
> own controls/choices. I found myself hearing about other people's notion
of
> how to do the very same kind of teaching at home that was happening in
> schools... only in a nicer, kinder way. I consulted Clonlara. It is a
very
> nice program. However, it is a curriculum. There is testing and
reporting.
> And it is definately a nicer version of the traditional model, but
> nevertheless it is an "outside" influence driven material that is foisted
> upon the student. However nicely you put it, if you make the choices for
> your child, in my opinion you simply delay the time in his/her life when
he
> will have to learn how to make his/her own choices. I had a friend once
who
> was a trumpeter in the West Point School band, yes, it is not students,
but
> very highly skilled professionals who are hired. He was well paid and
> supporting a family on his income. He gave up the job because he
couldn't
> stand watching how the military approach to teaching was making babies of
> the students. They were helpless to make any decisions on their own.
> Empowerment for a child to learn, study, earn, think, and design one's
own
> life is the job of educators and parents. Kudos to you for all that you
are
> trying to do.
> Regards,
> Carol
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Scott David Gray" <sdg_at_sudval.org>
> To: <discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2005 10:37 AM
> Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] searching for sudbury
>
>
> > Hi Cheryl,
> >
> > There are all kinds of issues with home-schooling, to be
> > sure. In addition to being extraordinarily expensive (at
> > least one parent out of the workforce a significant amount
> > of the time), it has its own other minuses -- mostly that
> > children want to be with other children, and that it's
> > healthy for children to spend some time away from the
> > nuclear family.
> >
> > I wish that I could give you very specific advice on what to
> > look for in a school. Unfortunately, I don't think that
> > there is anything in your area that resembles a Sudbury
> > school. I'd say that, if moving to an area with a Sudbury
> > School isn't a possibility, your next best bet is to try and
> > cobble together a situation in which:
> > A: The end of the day at school *is* the end of the day
> > (no homework).
> > B: There are other kids, who ideally live locally so that
> > it's easy to spend time with them on evenings and weekends.
> > C: It's possible to take the school 'stuff' with a grain
> > of salt -- where your child will know, as much as possible,
> > that the things important to the school authorities are
> > *not* necessarily what's important to Mom. It wasn't until I
> > was 10 years old that I was enrolled in a Sudbury school --
> > but the fact that my parents offered me *support* when I
> > refused to do homework and skipped school went a *long* way
> > to helping me feel a sense of self and respect even in a
> > very bad school environment.
> >
> > I'd also watch this space, and the list of schools
> > maintained at http://www.sudval.org/other.html, for word
> > about a Sudbury school in your part of the world -- the
> > Sudbury style of education has been expanding, and maybe
> > someday soon one will start in your area.
> > I would also consider very, very, carefully, how important
> > it is to stay where you are. A number of families have
> > relocated to areas where there are Sudbury schools, and I
> > haven't heard any regret that decision.
> >
> > --
> >
> > --Scott David Gray
> > reply to: sdg_at_sudval.org
> > http://www.sudval.org/
> > ============================================================
> > It takes most men five years to recover from a college
> > education, and to learn that poetry is as vital to thinking
> > as knowledge.
> >
> > -- Brooks Atkinson
> > ============================================================
> >
> > On Wed, 21 Sep 2005, cheryl huff wrote:
> >
> >> Thanks very much for your note, Karen. I am very much
> >> considering homeschooling, although I am not sure my son
> >> can imagine it. I just found out about another local Mom
> >> who has taken her sons out - she has been a teacher in the
> >> public system for years - and plan to get in touch with
> >> her. Homeschoolng is daunting for a single mother, sole
> >> support, but many people say it is possible. All best
> >> wishes, Cheryl
> >>
> >> cheryl huff
> >> chuff57_at_earthlink.net
> >>
> >>
> >> ----- Original Message -----
> >> From: Karen Locke
> >> To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
> >> Sent: 9/20/2005 8:53:07 AM
> >> Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] searching for sudbury
> >>
> >>
> >> I homeschooled my son (and 6-yr-younger daughter) for 6 years. I was
in
> >> a similar situation - no acceptable schools nearby, didn't have other
> >> options. We are all glad we did it. There are often other
homeschoolers
> >> around if you seek them out. We actually started a homeschool group
> >> based on SVS ideas, meeting 3 days a week at a church. Both my kids
> >> eventually wanted to go back to regular schools, but at least they
knew
> >> about other ways to be and had confidence in themselves.
> >>
> >> Best wishes. There are options, maybe even surprising ones!
> >>
> >> Karen
> >> ----- Original Message -----
> >> From: cheryl huff
> >> To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
> >> Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2005 5:43 AM
> >> Subject: [Discuss-sudbury-model] searching for sudbury
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> I am just beginning to look for a Sudbury model school for my 6 year
old
> >> son. I have been unhappy with his very traditional classroom
> >> experience - Primary One (kindergarten) in Scotland was an attempt to
> >> "socialize" children into sitting still, working on worksheets and
then
> >> going out to a play area which was very small, crowded and made of
> >> asphalt and stone with no equipment save a few tired elastic jumpropes
> >> and an old ball or two. He came home bloody and often bitten. He was
> >> mauled every day by a very large classmate and learned to hit and
kick.
> >> In spite of it all, he did well with numbers and words and we did much
> >> exploring of the Scottish coast, the museums and science centers of
> >> Edinburgh and Glasgow and several castles. He learns best when
allowed
> >> to explore things, especially 3 dimensional objects and loves to
create
> >> sculptures, "machines" and systems with ropes, weights,
> >> branches...whatever he can find.
> >>
> >> Now we are back in America and he is at a charter school in coastal
NC.
> >> While many of our friends find it to be a great school, I feel he is
just
> >> being molded into this cookie cutter role of 1st grader - they all
must
> >> be reading by the beginning of 1st, and he isn't, but he is ahead in
> >> math, which is being ignored, so of course he feels like a loser. He
is
> >> rebelling against the non-stop structure of sitting and being quiet
and
> >> isn't finding friends in the class - he doesn't even know many of the
> >> kid's names after 4 weeks of school.
> >>
> >> So, after this sad rant, can anyone give me ideas of what to look for
in
> >> a school - and what I should be considering while I am looking? I am
an
> >> adjunct college instructor and need to live near enough to colleges
> >> (though I also teach online) to make a living as the sole support of
us
> >> both. I have considered homeschooling but want him to have an
experience
> >> of working as a member of a community of learners.
> >>
> >> Any help is appreciated.
> >>
> >> cheryl huff
> >> chuff57_at_earthlink.net
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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> >
> >
> > --
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Received on Thu Sep 22 2005 - 21:16:55 EDT

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